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chelsea

Chelsea's Adventures in Book Blogging...

I've fairly recently become obsessed with reading. This is just me sharing that love with the world. :)

 

Currently in the (apparently long) process of importing my books from GR.

Linger  - Maggie Stiefvater Forever  - Maggie Stiefvater

huh.  I'm not really sure what to say.

 

Well, as with most people, I didn't enjoy the last two books as much as the first.  Linger was much too angsty for me.  Cole with all his drama, Isabel purposefully ruining relationships for no apparent reason, Clary with her parents (there's the teenager I was waiting to see).  Sam was the only one not being angsty, but he wasn't being much of anything else, either.

 

Honestly, I just wasn't very interested in these two.  Sure, there were some good parts, but I never felt compelled to pick it up again.  I finally finished today so I could just move on! 

 

The end was weird - partially concluded, partially not.  It seemed to me like it should be one or the other.  If you're going to answer some questions, answer all of them!  Although, now it looks like she's writing a random fourth book, to be released this year.  Missing the gravy train, I'm sure.  I guess you can't blame her.

 

Honestly, what it comes down to for me is that this was a beautifully written stand-alone book.  Shiver ended nicely on its own & just needed to be done, but I'm sure the publisher would have none of that.  I wouldn't recommend this series.

 

On another note, there was some interview with the author at the end of the first book in which she talked about how she liked to make her readers cry, like she cried when she read The Time Travelers Wife.  This seemed like an arrogant comment to me, like she had control over my emotions and would use me like a puppet.  So it could be that I was partially stubbornly trying not to like it.  Did I cry though?  Unfortunately, yes.  I didn't weep, just a couple little tears.  I'm pregnant though, so I'm not even sure that counts.

Shiver  - Maggie Stiefvater

I'll write more of a review after I finish the series, just wanted to jot down my thoughts so far.  I've enjoyed it so far, but would stop short of saying I "really like it."  I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it at this point.

I was a little worried at the beginning that this was going to be a bit wholesome for my taste, but it hasn't really been.  Grace is minimally annoying for a teenage girl, and I kind of love Sam.  The artsy, emo types totally don't float my boat usually, but he manages to pull it off without being too...what's the word...pansy.  He's self-deprecating (not in a fishing-for-compliments sort of way), funny and actually honest - a rarity for some of these teenage boys in YA/NA books.

That's all for now.  Onward!

World After  - Susan Ee

I'll be honest, I had a difficult time getting into this one for a while.  I loved the first book, loved the banter between Penryn and Raffe.  With them separated at the beginning of this one, it just wasn't the same.  On top of that, it felt like the story was going in several different directions.  There were a lot of different things going on, and then there was some historical context thrown in there, and it left me wondering where exactly the story was headed.  It seemed pretty disorganized.  As a result, I didn't find myself super excited to continue reading, but I did.

 

But I'm glad I did!  Right around 65% or so, things picked the hell up and and I flew through the end.  I was reminded why I loved this story so much in the first place.  I know I'm being vague but I don't want to be too spoilery.  So I'll just leave it at that.  It was a rough start for me, but totally worth it.

 

On a side note, I'm kind of irritated it's now looking like there are going to be 5 books.  Ms. Ee better crank that shit out faster than she did this one!

 

PS, I kind of love the cover.

Rock Me  - Cherrie Lynn

yowza.  Well, I read this about a month ago & couldn't get myself to come write about it, but I'll at least explain myself a little.  Anything there might have been to like about this book was far overshadowed for me by the female in this story.  TWTL - too weepy to live.  I found myself every 10 pages or so thinking "good god!!  what the hell is she crying about now??"  She cries when she's happy.  When she's sad, she cries so hard she vomits.  She cries when they have sex.  Who would deal with that psycho?  No one.  Certainly not myself.  Thus my one star.

I know some people were able to overlook some faults for love of the male, Brian was it?  But I did not love him nearly enough to make up for her.

I've returned from the land of the uninterested

Ten Tiny Breaths  - K.A. Tucker

I had a little hiatus there for a minute.  I reread Divergent in hopes of rushing through the trilogy, but after reading the first one, I completely lost interest.  Not only in the series, but in reading.  For some reason, I just needed a break.  Thankfully, I read this decent book & am back to life!  So here's the actual review:

 

I'll give you four stars, I think.

I gobbled this book up in a day.  I just finished and I'm still trying to process everything.  Obviously, I couldn't put it down.

Kacey.  I kind of like her, I think.  I love a good badass, and she is that.  She has a good sense of humor too.  The incident she endured is well-decribed and really makes her struggles understandable, for the most part.  I never do understand the "can't let anyone get close" complex that comes up in books so often, though.  I mean, I follow the logic, I suppose... but I don't believe anyone can successfully isolate themselves, unless they're sociopaths.  Maybe people think they can though.  Anyway, I digress.  I like Kacey.

I've read some gripes that it was a bit insta-lovey and you don't really see what warms Kacey to Trent.  That's true, but I think part of what comes out in the end is that Kacey hasn't been paying that close of attention  to those around her because she's been so wrapped up in her own turmoil.  So I can buy that she's not seeing what's going on with Trent, that he also has his own stuff going on.  I'm actually kind of surprised K.A. Tucker hasn't gone the "rewrite the story from Trent's POV" route with this one.  It might be interesting to see what really was going on with him.  Anyhow, because of this, I never really swooned over Trent.  He was obviously hot, but the nice things he said were a bit cliche, and few & far between.  Other than that, it kind of just seemed like Kacey's bubble of ignorant bliss.

Then there's the big twist. 

I saw it coming when he said his tattoo meant "forgiveness."

(show spoiler)

  I must hand it to her, Ms. Tucker certainly doesn't shy away from fucked up things.  

I LOVED the side characters.  It really made a big, happy, if weirdly pieced together, family.  The epilogue was too much for me. 

I suppose there's a fine line between leaving too many loose ends and smashing me over the head with the HEA, but I could've done without it

(show spoiler)

.  All in all, an enjoyable read, with more to it than meets the eye.

Divergent - Veronica Roth Insurgent  - Veronica Roth Allegiant  - Veronica Roth

Time to re-read Divergent and Insurgent in preparation for Allegiant!  I don't remember loving the first two; in fact, there was one major event that really bugged me... we'll see if my thoughts change the second time around.

Boundless - Cynthia Hand

Oh my goodny!  I was really impressed with this series!  As I mentioned, I got nervous at the beginning of the second book that this was going to turn into a teenage love triangle drama-fest.  I am glad to report that it does not.

The first two are pretty good, and this third book definitely had my blood pumping!  It was suspenseful & had lots of action, and fairly unpredictable (for me, anyway).  As a general impression, it was a fun read, perhaps a little wholesome for my taste.  After all, Clara (the narrating voice) referred to intimidating people as "baddies" - apparently badass was a bit brash for her.  Perhaps I'm tainted (or spoiled, depending on your perspective) but all the smut I've been reading, and the Unearthly series is pretty innocent.  On a related note, I'm also realizing the bad guys in this book weren't even <i>that</i> bad.  I guess it is a book about angels, though, so maybe everyone had to have some redeeming qualities.  

How about the characters, you ask?  Well there's Clara, she's alright.  I honestly feel pretty apathetic about her, don't love her, but she never bugged me.  Christian is surprisingly s sort of stoic, secret-keeping type.  But he's earnest and faithful.  Tucker, well I was just in love with him.  Y'all know how I feel about cowboys though!  He was a fun, heart-on-his-sleeve kind of guy.  Jeffrey, the brother, was a little brooding and pouty for my taste.

I did really like the series, but there were a couple parts that bugged me.  Mainly in the epilogue. 

The author made quite sure you knew that Tucker & Clara were living happily ever after, to an excessive extent.  Yes, I get it.  But for all that, there were other things that needed more closure, like what the hell happened to Angie & Phen?  Jeffrey?  Christian?  Also, the way Tucker not only gets to live now, but gets to live a glory-filled, extra long, special life with Clara with no one chasing them anymore was a bit much.  Nobody's <i>that</i> happy.  (Listen to me, the realist analyzing the young adult paranormal romance.  No wonder I'm disappointed.)

(show spoiler)
Hallowed - Cynthia Hand

Just finished.  It took me a few days because the beginning had me worried.  The first 50 or so pages were really uneventful & had me under the impression that this might turn into a petty love-triangle situation after all.  Thank goodness that is not the case.  Once things picked up, it was an exciting read.  Looking forward to the next one!  (Again, I'll write more once I finish the series)

Unearthly - Cynthia Hand

Pleasantly surprised!  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, because everyone seems to like it.  I'd seen the cover before but I don't know why I didn't pick it up earlier.  I'm glad I did!

I'm going to reserve most of my judgments for the end of the series, but I'll jot down a couple things here.

Clara, the main character, is a tiny bit annoying, but probably not nearly as annoying as it would be to be inside a real 16-year-old girl's head, so she gets a pass.  There's a tiny bit of a love-triangle situation that turns out to be more than it once appeared.  I'm intrigued by lots of things, namely what Clara's mom's Purpose is (I have a theory it has something to do with Clara, we'll see if I'm right!), and I'm a little skeptical of Angela.  But I feel like I'm supposed to be skeptical of Angela, but maybe the real danger lies elsewhere.  I don't know!

It was definitely exciting and suspenseful enough to keep me on my toes & keep me guessing (obviously).  The only thing I was a bit disappointed by was that the climax was a little... for lack of a better word, anticlimactic.  It was exciting, but not "heart-throbbing, blood-pumping, hyperventilating, skipping entire paragraphs because I just can't wait that long to turn the page" exciting.  But it is the first book, so maybe it gets that way.  Onward!

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel - Katja Millay

If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be real.

 

It's about two 17/18-year-olds who have dealt with more than their fair share of tragedy.  Josh's whole family has died one by one, until at 17, he's the only one left.  You don't actually find out what happened to Nastya until pretty late in the game, but it's pretty clear that it's a big something.

 

There's a whole lot of opportunity in this book to make it into a crazy teenage drama fest, but it was very well executed.  In stories like these, I try not to judge how characters chose to deal with their respective tragedies.  While Nastya's method of coping didn't make much sense to me personally, I still felt like it worked.  And Josh was like the antithesis of drama; very even-keeled and adult.  Josh & Nastya's relationship was a reaaaally slow build, but not excessively so.  Again, it fit the situation.  And Josh is so quiet, he seems to only say anything when it really needs to be said.  Which makes me love him.

 

I also loved all the side characters.  Drew is completely charming, even if it's recognized that he's also kind of a douchebag.  He's described by Nastya as "the kind of good-looking that transforms once self-respecting females into useless puddles of dumbass."  I always find it really intriguing watching a person's developments from someone else's point of view.  You get to hear Josh's thoughts about his best friend (Drew) growing up.  It's good.  I also love seeing how everyone, including Nastya's family, peers and teachers, choose to respond to her.

 

I've read some reviews of this book that this got too heavy for readers at times.  I don't know if I'm dead inside or what, but I didn't think it was.  There are certainly some parts that are depressing, but I thought it was well-balanced enough with snarky, sarcastic wit that I never felt like I was drowning in despair.  That said, that's kind of what's holding me back from a 5-star rating.  I knew and liked the characters, but I didn't really feel them.  Although, maybe that's a good thing.  And like I said, it could just be that I'm dead inside.

 

In any event, it's an excellent read & I would definitely recommend it.

Angelfall  - Susan Ee

4 stars

 

This was a really great read!  I'm glad I discovered it!  Unfortunately, I only have a nook, and this book isn't available on Barnes & Noble.  So I read it on the kindle app on my phone, which isn't an ideal way to read a book, but it got the job done.  Not sure why B&N doesn't have it.

 

Where to start?  I feel like everything about this book was a slow simmer: getting to know the characters, their relationships with each other, finding out about the background of the story.  You're thrown in about 6 weeks after this angel war/apocalypse situation began.  By the end of the book, it becomes a little more apparent what the whole war is about, but you still don't really know.

 

Penryn's whole life/family dynamic is really interesting.  She has a little sister who's a paraplegic, a mother who's paranoid schizophrenic (and now without meds), and a father who left the family pre-apocalypse, leaving Penryn to be the responsible party.  It seems like there may be more to her mother's state than mental illness, but we'll have to wait to find out!  Penryn is a BAMF, and I always love a good ass-kicking heroine.  She also shows from time to time, though, that she is still just a teenager that's fallen into this life, and is still adjusting to it.

 

Penryn and Raffe's relationship is, like I said, slow simmer.  They fall into a bit of an uneasy partnership.  Raffe is sort of your typical reluctant hero... he'll save your ass, but he'll make sure you know he's not happy about it.

 

There's a little subtle wit to the book, which is nice to lighten things up a little bit, but not too much (it is the end of days, after all).  There's quite a bit of mystery, lots of action and suspense.  I'll be eagerly awaiting the release of the next book.

Unspoken - Jen Frederick wow, that was pretty bad. I'd prefer not to let this book take much more of my time, so I'll keep the rant brief. The story was difficult to follow. Not because it was complicated, but because events, people, & dialogue would skip around so much. It also drags on forever. There were a couple times near the beginning-middle of the book when I thought maybe it wouldn't turn out to be so bad. But the end clinched it for me. It was awful. Last but not least, the title. As I'm finding with alarming frequency, this title has no relevance to the story. There is much more, but as I said, I'm not devoting any more of my time.
On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1) - Samantha Young 3 starsI tilted my head to the side with a wry grin. "You're good with the words, I'll give you that.""I'm good with my hands. Will you let me give you that?"I would say this book is better than most CR. It was a bit on the angsty side for me, which I'm not normally a fan of. Braden is a definite alpha male, sometimes in a good, hot way, sometimes in an alarming way. But it wasn't as overwhelming as most. I really liked Joss. I especially liked that she wasn't a virgin and she swore and had a great sense of humor. There were a couple parts I was laughing out loud at, I wish I'd thought to highlight them. The sexytimes were pretty steamy.The story is set in Scotland, and I wish that had been more of a focus. It was really easy to forget that as I read the story. I am glad this is a stand-alone, it's getting really annoying that books are constantly being dragged out into a series unnecessarily. This is a series, but it looks like the other books are about other characters. I can dig that. Will I read them? Eh, maybe sometime. For right now, I think I've had my fill. I got what I wanted out of this book, and I'm ready to move on.
Out of Line - Jen McLaughlin, Diane Alberts 1.5 starsThere's nothing really wrong with this book... there just wasn't much right with it. For me, anyway.It had all my favorite pet peeves. First of all, I have no idea why it's called Out of Line. It makes no sense. Well, maybe a little bit, but not in any significant, title-worthy way. Of course in these NA romance books you expect some cliches, but this one had ALL of them, and they were extra annoying. Stupid nicknames that seem forced (and I even usually like the nicknames!). Hot virgin, who seems to have never been kissed, with a strict dad. "Bad boy" with tattoos. Bad boy says "fuck" every other word to display his masculinity, while demure virgin girl says things like "heck" and "dang." Mysterious, zappy chemistry: "He closed his fingers around mine. A shot of electricity skittered up my arm, making me jump slightly. What the heck had that been?" That had been my brain cells frying.Behind all these things, the story was just ok. For .99 cents, I suppose I got what I paid for.
Breaking Nova - Jessica Sorensen 2.5 starsInteresting book by Ms. Sorensen. I finished it last night, still trying to gather my thoughts.This book is basically about people struggling to cope with the hands they're dealt. It's mainly about Nova, but it's partially written from Quinton's POV as well. For these two main characters, their struggle is with death and loss. There's a side character, Delilah, who's obviously having some issues, but we don't really know what yet. I'm guessing there will be a book about that.Honestly, it took me a few days to convince myself to read this. I almost put it down after two chapters. It's very dark and VERY melodramatic. For example, when Nova meets first boyfriend, Landon (mild spoiler which you'll find out about in the first chapter) who kills himself , this is what she has to say about it: "I was taken aback by how much anguish was in his honey-brown eyes - the torture and internal suffering." They were thirteen. The first couple chapters are the explanation for the downward spiral that follows. In some ways, I thought it was a little like Go Ask Alice. Not for the drugs so much (although there was some of that), but because you're on the journey for these characters' darkest days. Things got more exciting, of course, once Nova and Quinton met. But again, the drama. Yes, you feel guilty, I get it. I don't need to continue to read about it for 100 pages. It seems to become rather codependent and needy, but they are in a desperate situation, so it makes at least a little sense. I do wish there was a little more redemption for all the hell I was put through. I imagine book 2 will accomplish that, though.So, in the end... I liked it. How can I say I liked it after I just had nothing good to say about it, you ask? Hope. Like a thin ray of light shining through a tiny crack in the otherwise pitch black oubliette, there's a little hope always present. I'm sure I'll like the next book more. If you like Jessica Sorensen's other books, I'm sure you'll like this one too. But be warned, it's a bit depressing.
Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles I just spent a couple minutes hovering my mouse between 3 stars and 4 stars. Then I still couldn't decide, so I spent a few minutes on people of Walmart. But it's time to face the music.3.5 stars "How the hell did I ever think I could lure the very beautiful, very rich, and very white Brittany Ellis into my very poor, very Mexican, and very dark life?" What pushed me over the edge to give it a 4-star rating was that it's original and not your typical YA novel. What's holding me back from a full four stars? I can't really put my finger on it. As a general rule, I don't like critiquing anything unless I have some brilliant plan of my own for how exactly it could be improved. In this case, I do not. I'm not sure the exact steps that could have been taken to give me what I was looking for out of this book, I just know I didn't get it. It had all the makings to give me a good, visceral response, but it came up short. I like how it shows that each of us is fighting our own battle of some sort, whether you can see it on the outside or not. The relationship development between Brittany and Alex has a nicely timed progression. I've read some complaints that the Spanglish reads a little clunkily. I agree, but I know it's realistic that people would mix Spanish and English, and I don't know how else it could have been written. Maybe it wouldn't seem so odd to someone who, unlike myself, speaks Spanish. When all is said and done, I would still recommend it, but I won't be shouting from the rooftops about it.